OTSEGO COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV)– The Otsego County Department of Health and Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SQSPCA) will continue to hold free rabies vaccination clinics on-site through the end of the year.
According to SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes, the shelter is scheduling vaccination appointments one Monday each month beginning in April for pet dogs, cats and ferrets. Individual appointments allow for proper social distancing, Haynes said.
The monthly schedule is as follows but may be subject to change:
- Monday, April 12: 4-7 p.m.
- Monday, May 17: 2-5 p.m.
- Monday, June 14: 2-5 p.m.
- Monday, July 12: 4-7 p.m.
- Monday, August 16: 2-5 p.m.
- Monday, September 13: 2-5 p.m.
- Monday, October 4: 4-7 p.m.
- Monday, November 15: 2-5 p.m.
- Monday, December 13: 2-5 p.m.
Haynes praised Otsego County, local veterinarians and shelter staff for making the free rabies clinics possible.
“Otsego County is providing the vaccines and the tags,” said Haynes. “The shelter is providing the service and several local veterinarians continue to step up to donate their time to the cause.”
Dr. Julie Huntsman, Dr. Bret Meckel, and Dr. Jenny Lukovsky all worked free of charge at the clinics during the peak of the pandemic in New York State to administer the rabies vaccinations and they will continue to assist for the foreseeable future, Haynes added.
Registration for the free rabies vaccination clinics is currently underway by calling (607) 547-8111, extension 111. Appointments are on a first come, first served basis. There is a limit of 15 pets per person.
The SQSPCA requirements for pet owners will follow Otsego County guidelines:
- Previous rabies vaccination certificate must be presented to receive a three-year booster (NO exceptions).
- Dogs must be on a leash and under proper control.
- Cats and ferrets should be in a pillow case or carrying case.
According to the Otsego County Department of Health, the vaccine being used gives one-year protection for domestic dogs and cats receiving their first vaccination and three-year protection for domestic dogs and cats receiving a booster.
“Compulsory vaccination is required for all dogs and cats in Otsego County,” said Heidi Bond, Otsego County Director of Public Health.
“Every dog and cat three months of age or older is required to be vaccinated, even pet dogs and cats that stay inside, and domesticated ferrets require vaccination each year,” Bond explained.
New York State law requires all dogs to be licensed. A license will not be issued for a time period extending beyond the date of the dog’s rabies certificate. It is also New York State law that any unvaccinated pet exposed to a rabid or suspected rabid animal be euthanized or quarantined for six months at the owner’s expense, and that any unvaccinated pet that bites be confined for 10 days at a facility at the owner’s expense.
In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is a 501c3 charitable organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered, and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. For more information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org